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OpenMarket: Banking and Finance

  • Dodd-Frank Still Harmful After a Decade, But Modest Deregulation Has Helped

    July 21, 2020
    Dodd-Frank has caused harmful and sometimes disastrous effects for consumers, investors, entrepreneurs, and Main Street financial institutions such as community banks and credit unions. The ray of sunshine is that there have been bipartisan efforts to provide regulatory relief from some of Dodd-Frank’s biggest burdens, as well financial regulatory agencies creating more flexible rules within the law.
  • Wealthy Millennials Not So Concerned with "Socially Responsible" Investing

    July 17, 2020
    In the last few years advocates of corporate social responsibility theory have been assuring everyone who would listen that a new day is dawning for financial management, and that younger investors would be increasingly demanding that public companies and investment management firms conduct business consistent with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. A new industry study, however, may be interrupting that narrative.
  • CFPB’s Kraninger Should Drop Navient Litigation in Light of Supreme Court Holding

    July 17, 2020
    CEI has praised Kathy Kraninger, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for her many deregulatory initiatives that—in contrast to her predecessor, Richard Cordray—protect consumer choice and beneficial innovation. Yet, we have also criticized her for letting the CFPB continue to pursue some of the meritless litigation of the Cordray era.
  • Seila Law Leaves More Questions than Answers over the Constitutionality of Past CFPB Actions

    July 2, 2020
    On June 29, the Supreme Court ruled the structure of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be unconstitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the majority opinion, arguing that “the structure of the CFPB violates the separation of powers,” but noting that “the CFPB Director’s removal protection is severable from the other statuary provisions bearing on the CFPB’s authority.” In non-legalese, this essentially means that the agency may continue to exist so long as the CFPB director is removable by the president at will.
  • Webinar Panel: Thoughts on the HEROES Act and Regulation of the Debt Collection Industry

    June 18, 2020
    Debt collection firms play a vital role in a market economy, as part of the "plumbing"—the underlying architecture—that makes modern credit markets possible. Legislation to constrain the debt collection industry would disrupt credit markets, ultimately hurting consumers.
  • Fedcoin and FedNow are Dangerous and Unnecessary Expansions of Federal Reserve Power

    June 10, 2020
    To counter the financial damage from America’s national lockdown, the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented stepsy. Most of these moves received grudging acceptance even from many Fed skeptics. But the Fed’s expanded powers are all the more reason to be skeptical of its entering into activities the private sector clearly could do and is doing, such as payments services and cryptocurrency.
  • Navient Files for Summary Judgement in Meritless CFPB Case

    June 3, 2020
    On May 19, student loan servicer Navient filed for summary judgement on a CFPB lawsuit started over three years ago. In the filing, Navient urged Judge Robert D. Mariani of the Middle District of Pennsylvania to stop the litigation, arguing that the agency has yet to bring forth any evidence to support its claim that the company purposefully misled borrowers into forbearance.
  • My Answer to J.K. Rowling on What Cryptocurrency Is

    June 2, 2020
    To paraphrase a famous financial services commercial from the 1970s and 1980s, when J.K. Rowling asks, people answer. When the famed author of the Harry Potter series of books requested an explanation of bitcoin on Twitter in May, hundreds of people raced to reply. On May 17, CEI's John Berlau joined the fray in a tweet thread addressed to Rowling.
  • HEROES Act Mostly Grows Government, But Has Redeeming Cannabis Banking Provision

    May 20, 2020
    The HEROES Act calls for trillions of dollars in new deficit spending and includes a number of longstanding progressive pet projects unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, there is a free-market pony in the middle of this pile of big-government initiatives: Affirming the legality of banking services to marijuana-related firms in states that have declared the substance legal.
  • Does Uncle Sam Support Single Moms? The Question of Federal Funds for Strip Clubs

    May 13, 2020
    Should U.S. taxpayer dollars be loaned to strip clubs? What would have sounded like a joke just a few months ago is now a reality thanks to the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. And while that may sound like an outrageous misuse of federal funds, the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak means the situation may not be as clear cut as that.


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